Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi and biochar have been successfully adopted to improve crop growth and yield under water stressed environments, however, to date little evidence of their combined effects has been reported. Field trials were conducted in 2018 and 2019 growing seasons in northern Iran to evaluate how biochar and AM fungi could improve sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) productivity subjected to reduced irrigation regimes. A randomized complete block design was adopted with the following treatments: three irrigation regimes [no deficit irrigation (NDI), moderate deficit irrigation (MDI) and severe deficit irrigation (SDI) that was calculated as the 50, 30, and 10 % of maximum available water, respectively]; three biochar rates [0 (B0), 2.5 (B2.5) and 5 (B5) t ha−1 of biochar]; and two AM fungi inoculations [inoculated (AM+) and no-inoculated (AM-) plants]. All treatments were replicated three times. Before plowing, biochar (B2.5 and B5) was uniformly distributed on the soil surface to incorporate in the soil profile, while AM fungi (AM+) were distributed in the furrow of sunflower rows before sowing. Biochar and AM fungi were not applied in B0 and AM- treatments, respectively. Sunflower growth rate, pigments, photosynthesis rate and associated aspects, minerals content, antioxidant enzymes, abscisic acid, total phenolics and seed yield were measured. The results showed that growth parameters, radiation use efficiency, leaf pigments and seed yield decreased under irrigation regimes (NDI > MDI > SDI), while malondialdehyde (MDA) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) showed opposite trends. The combination AM fungi and biochar enhanced antioxidant enzymes activities, osmoprotectants, nutrient content and relative water content resulting in a significant decrease in oxidative damage in the drought stressed plants. Seed yield ranged from 4.95 to 1.78 t ha−1 and it was increased by the biochar application (+9% and +7% in B2.5 and B5, respectively) and AM fungi inoculation (+21 % in AM+) in all irrigation regimes. Overall, the plant's performance observed in the MDI-B5-AM+ was similar to that in NDI-B0-AM- indicating that AM fungi and biochar allow a reduction of water irrigation while maintaining crop yield. According to results, the combination of AM fungi and biochar rate should be adopted as a water-saving practice for sustainable production of sunflower cultivated in semi-arid environments, even if further studies should be carried out to evaluate their effects on other crops and environments.

Contribution of biochar and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi to sustainable cultivation of sunflower under semi-arid environment

Radicetti, Emanuele
Ultimo
2021

Abstract

Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi and biochar have been successfully adopted to improve crop growth and yield under water stressed environments, however, to date little evidence of their combined effects has been reported. Field trials were conducted in 2018 and 2019 growing seasons in northern Iran to evaluate how biochar and AM fungi could improve sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) productivity subjected to reduced irrigation regimes. A randomized complete block design was adopted with the following treatments: three irrigation regimes [no deficit irrigation (NDI), moderate deficit irrigation (MDI) and severe deficit irrigation (SDI) that was calculated as the 50, 30, and 10 % of maximum available water, respectively]; three biochar rates [0 (B0), 2.5 (B2.5) and 5 (B5) t ha−1 of biochar]; and two AM fungi inoculations [inoculated (AM+) and no-inoculated (AM-) plants]. All treatments were replicated three times. Before plowing, biochar (B2.5 and B5) was uniformly distributed on the soil surface to incorporate in the soil profile, while AM fungi (AM+) were distributed in the furrow of sunflower rows before sowing. Biochar and AM fungi were not applied in B0 and AM- treatments, respectively. Sunflower growth rate, pigments, photosynthesis rate and associated aspects, minerals content, antioxidant enzymes, abscisic acid, total phenolics and seed yield were measured. The results showed that growth parameters, radiation use efficiency, leaf pigments and seed yield decreased under irrigation regimes (NDI > MDI > SDI), while malondialdehyde (MDA) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) showed opposite trends. The combination AM fungi and biochar enhanced antioxidant enzymes activities, osmoprotectants, nutrient content and relative water content resulting in a significant decrease in oxidative damage in the drought stressed plants. Seed yield ranged from 4.95 to 1.78 t ha−1 and it was increased by the biochar application (+9% and +7% in B2.5 and B5, respectively) and AM fungi inoculation (+21 % in AM+) in all irrigation regimes. Overall, the plant's performance observed in the MDI-B5-AM+ was similar to that in NDI-B0-AM- indicating that AM fungi and biochar allow a reduction of water irrigation while maintaining crop yield. According to results, the combination of AM fungi and biochar rate should be adopted as a water-saving practice for sustainable production of sunflower cultivated in semi-arid environments, even if further studies should be carried out to evaluate their effects on other crops and environments.
2021
Safahani Langeroodi, Ali Reza; Mancinelli, Roberto; Radicetti, Emanuele
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/2463131
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